City defends closure of Yanchep cafe

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Former Yanchep Lagoon Café tenants Peter and Sue Morgan had planned to gut the interior of the café and give it a fresh look. Design: Dave Smith

AFTER a protest attended by about 100 people the City of Wanneroo has defended its decision to not renew the lease at the Yanchep Lagoon Café.

Peter and Sue Morgan who ran the café for more than eight years said  as well as about 100 people attending a protest at the café on Sunday, September 25 more than 150 new signatures had been added to their  petition by the end of the day.

Mrs Morgan said Aboriginal elder and artist Phil Narkle and  Butler MLA John Quigley also attended.

A post on the Two Rocks Yanchep Residents Association Facebook page said a unanimous vote was taken for Mr Quigley to follow up the issue.

yancheplagooncafeo1aOn September 20 Mrs Morgan said she and her husband were devastated their plans for the café had been rejected.

Their plans included ways to combat what they said was the biggest concern for all visitors to the area, which was the loss of heritage and history.

In their business model overview the Morgans said visitors were concerned the lagoon was in danger of being swallowed up in a redevelopment and that it would become just like any other Western Australian beach.

They said customers were against the café becoming another predictable generic eating place and losing its identity as a place of cultural significance.

“The café should remain very much a beachside facility and continue to provide typical ‘beach’ food such as our takeaway favourites fish and chips, Jaws burger, Lagoon seafood catch and ice creams etc but should also offer some healthy alternatives and the chance to enjoy the option of dining-in particularly at sunset,’’ their business model overview said.

But they also said the café needed a complete overhaul and they planned to gut the interior and give it a fresh look.

“The alfresco area will be revamped to provide a more sheltered eating area without spoiling the wonderful views.”

Their business model overview included using Mr Narkle’s knowledge of the area in which he was born and grew up.

They said Mr Narkle, who was working on an 8m high sculpture for the new Perth Stadium, had agreed to design two murals specifically relating to the Yanchep lagoon for the front of the café.

One mural would depict the ocean and the other the land.

But the Morgans plans were rejected at a City of Wanneroo council meeting on September 13.

A motion put forward by councillor Linda Aitken also authorised the chief executive officer to investigate securing a temporary vendor (or vendors) to operate the café for a term or terms not exceeding six months in each case and/or food vans (or similar service providers) to operate in the locality of Brazier Rd, Yanchep.

The city said its decision to reject all submissions for a long-term lease of the Yanchep Lagoon Café premises was focused on improving the long-term user experience for both local residents and visitors.

Corporate strategy and performance director Noelene Jennings said the city wanted to “lift the user experience at Yanchep for locals and visitors alike”.

“The city has made a multi-million dollar investment in social infrastructure for Yanchep, such as the new surf club and sports ovals, and the café premises will now be part of our strategic planning for progressive connected communities,’’ she said.

“That’s why we will explore alternative lease and food options while we conduct a review of the site and existing building and report to the council as part of the mid-year budget review in January.

“Last week’s council decision called for a strategic review of the Brazier Rd site, which includes the existing building.

“There is also the potential for redevelopment to include the old surf club site.

“The new $3.9 million Yanchep Surf Club is currently under construction but does not contain facilities for the commercial sale of food or drinks.”